Two bullets for Team Aqua
As the mistral continued to blow in Cagliari, the 15 RC44’s ventured out of the harbour again for their second day of fleet racing at the RC44 Cagliari Cup. The weather followed the same pattern as yesterday with 17-22 knots in race one increasing to 25 knots from the north-west for the second.
The teams seemed much more comfortable with the conditions following on from yesterday’s foam-up, but it was Chris Bake and his experienced crew on Team Aqua that showed the fleet the way, winning both races. In race one they rounded the first windward mark in fourth place and then proceeded to pick off their opposition one by one. In race two they led from start to finish.
“I’m really proud of the team and the effort they put in to sailing the boat. Today was one of those days where we were sailing well, got decent starts, Cameron's [Appleton] tactics were great, we managed to get clean air to go fast and it was a lot of fun. The boat in this breeze is just phenomenal to sail, I just love it, its been such an exhilarating day.” A clearly delighted owner and helmsman, explained after racing. With three wins from four races, they now hold a six point lead over second placed Oracle Racing.
The Race Committee had a target time for each race of just 45 minutes, the 1.5 mile beat meant the 15 yachts were nose to tail and they rounded the first windward mark, those coming in on port were faced with a wall of RC44s to pick their way through and find a gap. There were no room for mistakes and those who made them we punished.
One of those was Artemis Racing, which broached on the last downwind leg of race one pushing them down from second to fifth, as owner Torbjorn Tornqvist explained: “We had a good day but there was a situation in the first race where we were gybing but we couldn't pass the other boats, so had to gybe back and we ended up broaching which was a shame.” However Tornqvist is happy with his team’s performance this week. “I enjoyed the sailing, fantastic conditions, challenging but I like it. We have a new crew so I'm quite pleased we managed to do well in these conditions. I love the windy weather, the windier the better.”
The second race of the day saw three upwind legs and two downwind sleigh-rides for the teams as the wind increased, the Race Committee shortened the course to finish the fleet on the final upwind leg at the mouth of Cagliari Harbour. The top six teams in the leader board were all very consistent in their performances today, each finishing in the same position in both races, Oracle Racing scoring two seconds, Ceeref two thirds and Isla Canarias Puerto Calero two fourth places.
So after another full on day of racing, Team Aqua extend away from the fleet at the top of the leaderboard, Oracle Racing move up from fifth to second and are tied on points with third placed Islas Canarias Puerto Calero. Artemis Racing drop to fourth and Ceeref, with Italy’s Michele Ivaldi calling the shots move up the rankings to fifth overall, just one point off Artemis ahead of them.
"The conditions are fantastic," said Oracle Racing Tactician, Russell Coutts. "The small downwind genoa we have on the boats now make the sail downwind a bit more manageable. The conditions are how we expected, sailing in Sardinia, the Mistral will always come in at some point in the week."
Jose Maria Ponce, Tactician on Isla Canarias Puerto Calero added: "Today went very well but we had some problems with our spinnaker halyard in one of the races. We have been in the top four in every race so were really happy with the results, we have good boat speed and manoeuvres in the strong wind like this and have avoided all the crashes."
The winds are forecast to lighten tomorrow as racing continues in the RC44 Cagliari Cup until 3 July.
2011 RC44 Cagliari Cup Fleet Racing Results -
(after four races)
1 - Team Aqua -1,4,1,1 - 7
2 - ORACLE Racing - 8,1,2,2 - 13
3 - Islas Canarias Puerto Calero -3,2,4,4 - 13
4 - Artemis Racing - 4,3,5,5 - 17
5 - RC44 Team CEREEF - 5,7,3,3 - 18
6 - Katusha - 2,6,6,6 - 20
7 - Peninsula Petroleum - 9,5,7,9 - 30
8 - Synergy Russian Sailing Team - 7,10,10,13 - 40
9 - No Way Back - 6,14,13,8 - 41
10 - Ironbound - 10, 16, 8 10 - 44
11 - Team Nika - 16, 13, 9, 7 - 45
12 - AEZ RC44 Team -16, 8, 11, 11 - 46
13 - RUS-7 Sail Racing Team - 12, 9, 12, 14 - 47
14 - MAG Racing - 11, 11, 14, 12 - 48
15 - Aleph Sailing Team - 16, 12, 16, 16 - 60